Another calendar year has come and gone. Of course teachers generally go by the school year calendar which usually ends in May or June but everyone else looks at the past year and what to expect in the upcoming one. Here are some of the highlights of 2011:
I survived my first year as a middle school teacher. This was something I thought I could never do because I know myself enough or thought I knew myself to believe me teaching in a middle school would be a bad idea. Of course I could not have achieved this without the support of the administrators, faculty, and staff of Bluffton Middle School. This is surprising because those who taught at the previous school where I served as a technology coach sometimes thought of me as a dangerous mutant alien influence that needed to be destroyed. I guess now that I proved I knew my way around a classroom I was not so dangerous after all. Of course there could be a sign somewhere near my lab that says "Dangerous Contaminate, Do Not Open."
Computer Technology 6 and 7 are off and running! I was able to make some adjustments to the Computer Technology 6 Program with the other Computer Tech teacher that made the experience much better for students and teachers. Computer Technology 7 was created with some radical new ideas such as a modified version of the Flipped Classroom. Despite a rocky start, the class took off and i believe most students are actually enjoying the experience. The class proved to be a disruption that students needed and with some tweaks it will be a great success.
Winning a Second TIPS Award. I have met many people who have only won one of these awards given by the South Carolina Association of Education Technology but I don't recall meeting many mulitple winners of this prestigious award. I was excited and humbled to hear that Computer Technology 6 won the 2011 award.
Learning to work with Tablets in my classroom. I purchased an Android tablet this past July and finally got to work with it along with the iPad our school received in my classroom. The experience has been great because it lightened my workload and allowed me to share things with students one-on-one or small groups. Also, it has been a liberating experience to break free from the front of my classroom and move around the students. If you have a tablet then invest in Splashtop and other apps and start using it in your classroom.
Now it is time to look ahead at what to expect in 2012.
Integrating what I learned in my years in technology as I plan my return to Social Studies. While I love technology and have learned how to use it in the classroom, my true passion is teaching History, Government, and Economics. This is why I got into education to begin with. While I enjoy working with the students, faculty, staff, and administration of my present school, outside circumstances have made it necessary to explore making a change to another teaching position.
Finish the coursework needed to become Gifted and Talented qualified.
Start working on a doctorate. I have put this off long enough plus I believe there will be major changes in education in the near future. These changes will require professionals who are knowledgeable in technology, learning research, and 21st Century skills to help lead schools in this change. This will be an exciting time and I want to be in at the ground floor.
Happy New Year to all of you and I hope 2012 brings you good health and prosperity.